Senior Sinn Fein man arrested in McGuigan murder investigation

Detained: Bobby Storey
Detained: Bobby Storey

Three men have been arrested by detectives hunting the killers of a former IRA man in Belfast.

The suspects, aged 59, 58 and 45, are being questioned about the shooting of Kevin McGuigan.

Bobby Storey, a senior Sinn Fein member, is one of those arrested. Mr Storey is northern chairman of the party and one of three men who were arrested in Belfast this morning.

A police assessment of IRA involvement in the killing has brought the powersharing institutions in Northern Ireland to the brink of collapse.

The arrests, made in north and west Belfast, take to 16 the number of people detained as part of the murder investigation to date. One man has been charged with weapons offences.

Mr McGuigan, a 53-year-old father of nine, was gunned down outside his home at Comber Court in the Short Strand area of east Belfast last month.

Mr McGuigan was suspected by some in the republican movement of involvement in the murder of former IRA leader Gerard "Jock" Davison close to Belfast city centre four months ago.

Police believe his killing was a revenge attack by Mr Davison's republican associates.

Although detectives said individual IRA members were involved in the shooting, they have said there is no evidence to suggest it was sanctioned at a senior level.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable George Hamilton has also said the IRA is not engaged in terrorism but instead is pursuing a peaceful, political republican agenda.

The political fallout from both murders has had major repercussions for the devolved Assembly, with crisis talks on-going at Stormont in a bid to save the stumbling institutions.